Most offices and workplaces have a break around Christmas time. But there are a special few who do not get to rest.

While a lot of people are spending the holidays with their loved ones, there are people who are working hard to help others.

Much like Santa’s little elves working away to make gifts for all the children around the world, there are nurses and carers working just as hard to take care of the elderly.

These people are sacrificing their holiday to help people and should be commended for their work.

A Nurse’s Story

One nurse, Mary*, spoke about she worked Christmas Day for the past ten years, “it’s rewarding to be able to spend Christmas helping people in need.”

“Many of the residents in the aged care facilities I worked at didn’t have anyone else to spend the holidays with.”

And it’s not only the residents, some of the aged care workers have very few people to spend Christmas with as they live far from their families. Many of these facilities have a strong sense of community.

As Mary describes it, for the resident and the workers alike, “ the community at the home becomes their family for them”.

Mary has also worked in palliative care for a little more than five years.

“Previously, when I worked during Christmas in palliative care, it was many of those patients’ last Christmas. It can be hard, but it I was honoured to be able to share it with them.”

“It is rather bittersweet, as Christmas is meant to be a joyful time and the family are all together, but the patient and their family know that it will be their last together. ”

Mary says that in the end it’s worth sacrificing Christmas with her family, “it can be tough having to get ready for work as the family are busy preparing the Christmas lunch and dinner. And most of my friends who aren’t nurses aren’t working on the day either.”

“But when you actually get to work, you can see the joy you bring to the elderly and that makes it all worth it. We have our own special little Christmas together.”

There are thousands of aged care facilities and villages around Australia celebrating Christmas this year with thousands of people like Mary selflessly working to care for the elderly.

This holiday season we want to thank the hard working nurses and carers, not only for their work over this Christmas but for all the work they have done this year.

*Names have been changed to maintain anonymity.

 

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